This is a book review based on a free copy from the author Many thanks go to the author for this generosity.The same review is also available in my blog s just face it, for whatever warped reasons which infest our minds, we are drawn to stories of apocalyptic or post apocalyptic scenes, envisioning a future where the end had come and gone, with the survivors living in a world where necessities of life had to be reevaluated and priorities reset in order to get through the days Hennessy s At The End fits into that genre perfectly, and is comparable with apocalyptic blockbusters like The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, although it lacks the grandeur.One liner intro An intense, adrenaline rushing apocalyptic page turner following the footsteps of Gordon Freeman of Half Life 2.Best part Danger lurks every corner, there is no lack of adrenaline pumping events good portrayal of characters made them recognizable smooth switch of style between different character s narrative made it recognizable no ridiculously drawn out love scenes futuristic yet believable technologies with well thought out details.Not so best part An ending that is a little too bizarre the usually unbelievable case where a few untrained teenagers outdo trained soldiers.The End is NighWith the abolishment of birth control, human population bordered at 39 billion at 2048 All this meant naught when billions start to disappear mysteriously without a trace 13 billion were taken on the first day, another 13 billion the next A trio of surviving teenage gamers found themselves fighting for their lives in the wake of civilization s collapse, experiencing first hand whatever they had been playing for real As Maggi, Darrel and Felix tried to escape whatever pursue and horror at their tails, they may stumble across the truth behind the disappearance and they may not be able to do anything about it Or even to survive it.Narrating The EndThe relationship between the flow, pace and plot of the narrative is so similar to certain post apocalyptic first person shooter, especially with gamers being protagonists, that I couldn t help but link them together One which comes to mind in particular is the once popular first person shooting game, Half Life 2, for the reason that the encounters within both stories shared much similarities For avid gamers who also happen to be readers of this novel, At The End might substitute for a novelization of those fast paced post apocalypse games.At The End is narrated through the eyes of Darrel and Maggi, with each telling his her own piece in alternating chapters Hennessy did good here in that both characters are written in different styles to suit the appropriate personalities The difference is obvious yet smooth enough that the reader could immediately observe whose shoes they are in and fall into that pace with the protagonist s thoughts and emotions without breaking their stride and wondering halfway into the chapter who they are following.From encounters with the third kind to saving themselves from humanity itself, the flow of At The End is truly exhilarating, adrenaline pumping and fast paced At every corner danger lurks, threatening to pick off one of them with every turn of the event Even when they succeeded in overcoming the latest barrier or looming danger in their progress, a moment of rest is when the next one strikes, allowing them almost no chance for a breath.The deus ex machina of the story of how they saved the day in the end is a little too lame for me though, bordering on unbelievable To give Hennessy credit through, is the fact that the story buildup is so smooth and the pace so intense that flipping past the page become natural I only notice the lameness of the ending in hindsight when I tried to reread and recall for this review Maybe it was just me, who played too many games with great storyline and greater endings that I set too high a target for the concluding chapters of At The End.The People At The EndHennessy s most believable characters remain the two protagonists whose eyes the readers share Their reaction, fear, love, relief, and sense of insecurity hit deep with each word Each moment could be their last every step and observation readying them for action All these emotions are shared through their words, bringing the reader along in their trail through the dangers of the world.The involvement of love scenes is almost a norm for Young Adult genre, even with the world crumbling around them Nothing could beat the hormones of growing adolescents Yet I am grateful that Hennessy did not draw these scenes out ridiculously, but only involve them enough to show that there are relationships developing between characters, a relationship of which influenced their thoughts and actions as well as the choice they choose to take The world is crumbling around them, and they should be busy surviving anyway On the down side, a problem which plagued Hennessy s story is the fact that the few teenagers survived far better than trained military personnel One could tag that fact to luck, as it was frequently pointed out when this was raised in the story With gamers who spent time online and physical disadvantageous going to know how to aim and shoot straight the first time they get their hands on arms, the trick just got a little too old for me.The World At The EndBeing an engineer, it is hard for me not to notice the envisioned technology in At The End I would say that Hennessy did his homework or is just a fan of technology that he created believable technology that may be in 2048.Electrical vehicles which could run indefinitely with the right infrastructure, weapons which runs recoil less by transferring the impact to other directions, solar power collecting arrays from space These are not alien to us yet as an engineer I could see that these are not that far fetched as well Certain engineering aspects are well thought out, like the case of a silent electric vehicle engine being a boon yet will endanger pedestrians since they won t be aware of a vehicle coming.Such attention to the finer details of future technology puts Hennessy and At The End higher on my score list Most sci fi novels may like to create alien technologies with explanation that put it firmly in the realm of science fiction , such as the well used hyperdrive and force field Hennessy s creation in the story made the world believable, painting a fictional world that could well be true.The End At The EndAt The End may not be the best apocalypse novel out there, but it sure scores above average in my scale For a Young Adult novel, I would say it is doing very good by introducing elements such as believable and detailed futuristic technology which some adult novels should have incorporated With such action and pace, it sure is an intense page turner, guiding my hands past page after page to try to figure out what could happen next And waiting for the death that may rain on the world at the end. Spoiler Stuff This book had some potential One of the biggest issues with the book are the characters Their interactions with each other doesn t seem normal for a group of 17 year old nerd geek teens They are constantly using the word Melted, but it never really sticks out like the word cool would The way they act, such as blowing up houses, wrecking cars, and everything else they do or talk about, seems typical of preteens If the main character s ages were scaled back a few years, this book would have been believable and caused me less pain.I also take issue with the way Maggey talks down to Felix and Darrel She never treats them like people, but as boys that oogle over gamer gals Plus, she calles Felix, a person of South American origin, Tortilla, and calls Darrel, a chubby fat guy, Jelly This is so insulting and demeaning, but doesn t even get resolved until the very end of the book for one paragraph Even then, its just Darrel standing up to Maggey and not Felix ever being annoyed with being called Tortilla I would get it if it was just a nickname sometimes and Maggey usually calls him Felix when in private or lovedovey moments, but she calls him Tortilla even then Its degrading and absurd Her namecalling should have been addressed somewhere in the middle of the book as Darrel fell for Penelope and Jacob was still alive.By the way, there are so many side characters that are fun than these kids Felix doesn t really have much of a personality and gets overshadowed by Jacob, Burnhammer, and other characters I wish the twins had of a presence, because it seemed like there could have been an interesting story with them.My advice to the author would be to scrape Maggey s POV, introduce a Felix POV, and resolve Maggey s antisocial tendencies earlier than the very last page. This Title Is No Longer AvailableNight Billion Taken Day Confusion Night Billion Taken Day Panic Night Billion Taken Day The Fight For Survival Begins In , The Human Population Borders Billion After The Termination Of The Birth Control Industry, And The Realities Of Overcrowding Have Sunken Into The Minds Of The World Until Billions Mysteriously Go Missing In The Wake Of Civilization S Collapse, A Trio Of Teenage Gamers From Washington Struggle To Endure Maggy, A Strong Willed Intellectual, Leads Darrel And F Lix, Two Shy Geeks, On An Expedition Down The West Coast, As They Search For Answers About The Source Of Humanity S Downfall, Determined To Survive The Deadliest Threat The Earth Has Ever Known A Fast Paced Post Apocalyptic Sci Fi Novel Geared Toward Teen This book had so much potential I wanted to like it I really did Unfortunately, I just didn t like it at all The idea is great, but the writing and flow need a lot of work.I would have liked a lot information on the world before everyone disappeared The description mentions the soaring population and the outlawing of birth control I would have liked to know why and how this happened it sounded so interesting I ve read several reviews that said the beginning of the book was slow Yes, in a way it was, but the beginning was really the only part I liked Once Darrel and Felix met up with Maggy, things went way downhill for me I struggled to finish, and if I didn t have the nice personality quirk of having to finish books I start, I probably would not have finished this book after Maggy came into the picture I didn t like her a bit The nicknames were cruel, and in Felix s case, racist She seemed very annoying in general I also, honestly, just despised the alion thing and how she pushed it on everyone they met I m sorry, but I find it hard to believe a 17 year old would correct a military official on something so superficial, and even unbelievable that these adults would just accept this and not wave her away like the pest she is I mentally corrected it to alien.Darrel is really not much better Thesoundhe makes all the time is just annoying Every time the group stops for a few minutes, it seems he s eating or thinking about eating or wanting to eatit gets old, fast And really, I don t need to know every time he wets himself Ick I get that they re scared, but some things are better left unsaid Also, the bromigo thing was just irritating as all get out Apparently, when I got the book, it had been edited to remove 75% of the bromigo bramiga s I am so thankful for this The 25% that were left were still WAY too many, though I found myself rolling my eyes eventually The main characters are supposed to be 16 17 If this had not been stated outright, I would have put their ages at about 13 They act younger and immature than their ages This really took away from the story for me.Honestly, there were very few characters I liked in this book, and one of those few ended up dead Though, since the book is VERY video game y, I can say I seriously would not have been surprised one bit if he had re spawned Seriously Xxxxxx screamed as the massive paws and powerful jaws of the feline extraterrestrial ripped into his body Our faces went slack with shock as we simultaneously wet our pants I reached for my inhaler, sucking on it like a crackhead trying to get as much of the last hit as possible We sighed in relief a few minutes later, when he re spawned several yards away not an actual quote, though had it been, I wouldn t have been even mildly surprised I m not even joking it wouldn t have shocked me one bit The book really does read like a sub par first person shooter Maybe this would make a decent video game I don t know What I do know is, in my opinion, it does not make a very good book The ending seemed completely unrealistic and rushed It seemed like it needed a little thought, a little time I won t harp on the spelling grammar issues Others have done this already and probably did a better job than I would It did get a little distracting, though The book needs editing, to catch those mistakes Again, I really wanted to like this book The summary made it sound so interesting However, the writing style was just not something I enjoy, and the plot went in an entirely different direction than I d expected, and unfortunately, I did not like that direction Oh, important information I am WAY out of the target demographic for this book I read it because I just flat out love YA dystopian post apocalyptic fiction Perhaps if I were still in junior high I would enjoy it Younger readers may enjoy it I, however, did not. I was given this book with the intention that I would review it within a month When I read the premise, it looked like a really cool read, so I was excited to delve into it I ve been reading in some of the other reviews that the first couple of pages were the slowest to get through and I agree with that only in the perception that it was a confusing opening to the novel, just from the whole losing track of time thing Other than that, I felt like the first few pages were similar in tone to Colson Whitehead s, Zone One Getting right down to it, the concepts in the story were really fresh It wasn t a recycled sic fi post apocalyptic story I also liked that we see a majority of the characters actually getting in on some alien exterminating action, and that no one was relegated to gender stereotypes Other than the very first few pages at the beginning, the plot moved along relatively quickly Something that genuinely bugged me throughout the book was Darrell s constant Urhming I realize that he is supposed to be asthmatic and has to clear his throat a lot, but the constant use of it really breaks up the dialogue making it very choppy Another point of contention is there wasn t very much character development We see Darrell mature and grow, but people like Penelope and Felix become kind of static and just there in my opinion, Overall, I did like the book It was an entertaining read, but not earth shattering The author shows a lot of promise and I am excited to see what will come next from him. Disclaimer I was made to read this book Here is my take on the book it had potential I really felt like I was reading a first draft, one that if given to a traditional publisher would have returned with a laundry list of needed fixes I agree with the summation that it was a rocky and slow start, but when action picked up it got better Well, just a little better I hated the main characters, they were two dimensional based upon poorly understood cultural stereotypes I don t care that it was an Asian girl calling the Hispanic boy Tortilla, it s still offensive The action was a bit stale, and the dialogue just plain stupid Who repeats what they just said EVERY TIME THE TALK It s bad when the side characters destined for death get a positive response than the main three And the twin sisters I kept forgetting they were there until they had to speak, or cry, or whine, or get moved or cared forblah blah blah And the Alions, dang, what a waste They stole 38 Billion people in three days and you expect me to believe they still did such stupid things over and over There were a few things I did like about the book, surprising I know I really liked his take on technology of the future, and his knowledge about guns I think he should have focused on this sort of thing And the Alions are actually a cool concept, and I would have loved to learn about them other than that they roared and galloped What about this other war they were in I felt no time was spent on this except to explain why they came to Earth All in all, this is a quick read But my most important thought It is NOT a post apocalyptic book, it is an alien invasion. I got this one as part of the Librarything Member Giveaway program, and I am not going to be able to ever count this one as finished I tried, I really really tried But after several months of trying to get through this one, I really just had to give in and admit defeat I generally love apocalyptic, end of the world type books, but I really had trouble getting into this one I really couldn t get a firm grip on any of the characters, and things kept pulling me out of the story to go really seriously every few pages. Bromigo and Bramiga if you can take reading that every other sentence, the story is well written and a positive delight to read I couldn t put it down and read it in less than a day As far as post apocalyptic nightmares go, this one has some great creatures no zombies and many surprises throughout. Let me preface this review by saying that I didn t hate this book In fact, its a quick read that has some interesting moments that I didn t completely forget about right after I was done reading And I finished it, so there s that.The opening of the book is strong Hennessy creates a pretty cool apocalypse concept of many people simply going missing I also liked that the story begins during apocalypse versus post apocalypse The main character Darrel is likeable enough, although perhaps a little too woe is me at the beginning of the book I m all for letting a character develop into the hero of the story, but it was a little clich just how pitiful Darrel is when you first meet him Hard to root for a guy who s so boring Darrel is also known as Jellyone of the most ridiculous nicknames for a character ever, matched only by the equally stupid Tortilla for someone of Latin American origin You could blame Maggy, the character who gives these boys their nicknames, but I m putting that responsibility on the author.Speaking of clich s, all of the clich s were a bit much It was utterly predictable actually The teen protagonists set off of their own to battle the alions yes, you read that right Aliens who look like lions Alions , there is mention of a potential love triangle, they get into some trouble and the military shows up to save the day Only the military can t save the day on their own, but require the help of four teenagers whose only qualifications for doing any sort of military operations are that they play videogames Sigh.The only surprising aspects of the story, once it got going, were the parts of the story that really didn t work because they were so out of place About a third of the way through the book someone the plot turns into an episode of Criminal Minds were two small girls are kidnapped by the child molester serial killer type and the teens have to go save them It was strange.Redeeming qualities are that in the end it wasn t a love triangle, the action is pretty good actually, and the initial concept was strong I just don t know if I can get beyond the silliness to recommend it. I thought this book had a lot of potential, but really feel like there were a lot of holes I finally finished it last night, but honestly, I made it half way through the book with the daily thought of It s going to get better And then, by the time I was half done, I felt like I had to finish to justify the time I had invested There were a lot of great ideas and I really liked some of the plot twists, but almost none were really explored or fleshed out I thought it was strange that the main trio were all saved by aluminum foil but others survived too with only an explanation that the other survivors were left as a source of prey training for the hunter alions Although it was an explanation for the others survival, I felt it was a weak explanation thrown in to show why than three people survived The author also seems to rely a lot on future technology e.g neo plastic to save our heroes regularly I think the book could have been improved by fleshing out some of the better ideas and explaining some of the things he only touched on apparently the whole planet has asthma The characters were likeable, but I did get extremely tired of the constant jumping around of names and by 3 4 of the way through I mentally punched the characters in the face each time they said bromigo When I finished the book, I was notified that this book was book 1 in a trilogy I overlooked that when I started The book seemed to finish as well as can be expected and I am not quite sure where the author plans to go with a trilogy I rarely enjoy trilogies but I am a big fan of dystopian fiction I may check out the next book to see if any of the plot issues are resolved as I think the author has potential.